Arab teams punch above their weight at Football World Cup

Saudi Arabia’s stunning 2-1 surprise win over twice world champions Argentina set the tone for an upturn in the fortunes of the Arab teams at the Football World Cup in Qatar. Though the hosts began with a frustrating performance in their 2-0 defeat to Ecuador, Tunisia and Morocco seemed to draw creativity from Saudi Arabia’s display. Tunisia fought to a goalless draw with Denmark and Morocco attained the same result against 2018 Football World Cup runners-up Croatia. Morocco coach Walid Regragui thought Saudi Arabia’s win had given him belief.

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Arab teams punch above their weight at Football World Cup

“I look at the Saudi Arabia match earlier 31% possession and they had three shots on goal, but they won next to Argentina, versus the best player in history,” Regragui asked reporters.

Morocco pulled with Croatia after a strong defensive approach performance as they embark on a long-time plan to regain the African Cup of Nations title, which they last won in 1976. The Arab squads are benefiting from the tournament taking place in Qatar. Saudi Arabia has borders with the present country and many Tunisians and Moroccans live in Qatar or neighbouring countries.

This contributed to the presence of many of our fans in the stadium. We had to believe about it and think about the 35 million Saudis who waited for this game, Saudi Arabia coach Herve Renard told. I told the players that life will stop in Saudi Arabia today, and everybody will wait for this game. The number of followers was large, but then I hope it will be even larger. Tunisia coach Jalal Kadri reiterated those feelings after his team’s draw with Denmark. Regragui explained conditions in Qatar as like those in Morocco.

“The fan factor was very positive for us. It emotionally gave us a great lift and we are looking forward to seeing the followers continue to do that for us,” Kadri told.

“We feel that we are home, and I am happy to be in Qatar and the Moroccan and Arab fans in the stands supported us and gave us power when we felt tired,” he stated.

Arab World Blasts Lebanese Singer’s Anthem Tukoh Taka

The Arab world is lambasting Lebanese singer Myriam Fares for her gyrations in the video for the Football World Cup’s theme song, saying her erotic dance moves disrespect Arab tradition. In the clip for Tukoh Taka, the 39-year-old stars along with Nicki Minaj and Colombian singer Maluma as they commemorate the month-long soccer tournament World Cup in Qatar.

Arab teams punch above their weight at Football World Cup

Both in the media and on social media, some call Fares’ show a cheap imitation of Shakira, who sang Waka Waka for the 2010 Football World Cup in South Africa. Commentators on Dubai-based Al-Arabiya television told Fares’ revealing outfit does not reflect the Arab character.

Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm quoted a criticism on social media: The Arab singer is supposed to reveal Arab culture in attire and look, not just bounce around and dance while singing meaningless and annoying lyrics. This dance does not are Qatar’s identity, nor does it represent our individuality as citizens of the Gulf. And most crucially, it does not represent our identity as Muslims. Our heritage and culture are more valuable than a cheap imitation of Shakira and others. This kind of dance goes on in nightclubs.

The claim that Fares is trying to imitate the Colombian superstar is prevalent. As another critic on Twitter put it, the world would be a better place if Myriam Fares stop off being convinced that she’s Shakira. But a Lebanese journalist has come to Fares’ defence. Nidal Al Ahmadieh, editor-in-chief of the Beirut-based cultural newspaper Al Jaras, tweeted: The most significant thing is that Myriam Fares were Lebanon, and we are pleased with her. Anybody who does not like it can just show us they are performing at the next Football World Cup.

And Lebanese journalist Rabia Zayyat added on Twitter: The assault on Myriam Fares is scary! She is a talented and diligent artist from my country, and she’s taking part in the most significant event in the world! And as a substitute for being happy for her success story, we attack her. Lebanese journalist and social critic Jamal Fayad said to the newspaper An-Nahar that the criticism and scorn being piled on Fares is all about envy. The truth that a Lebanese artist can take part in the Football World Cup is a considerable success, and, naturally, Fares would come in for criticism on social media. Worldwide Tickets and Hospitality offers Football World Cup tickets for the Qatar Football World Cup at the best prices. Football fanatics and buy Football World Cup Tickets at exclusively discounted prices.

Then Fayad added that Fares “made a big error by deciding to write and create the material herself. If she had been helped by or had argued with major artists in the Arab world, she could have created music of a higher quality and more fit for an event like this. I do not like her performing in the Football World Cup song because it is very ordinary at best.”

Arab teams punch above their weight at Football World Cup

This is not the first time Fares has come under attack for a video; in 2018 it was for the song Goumi. In that clip, she is in a jungle encircled by people in what is supposed to pass for tribal attire. In one part her skin and face are coloured darker. The video sparked an uproar on social media, with people calling her racist and accusing her of misappropriating African culture.

Morocco and Croatia followers at Football World Cup

Emine al-Motakki never dreamed he would one day attend a Football World Cup game; it is not a chance everyone gets. On Wednesday, the 27-year-old French Moroccan physical therapist from Marseille was counting his blessings. It is a privilege to be here, he told Al Jazeera. I have an excellent job so I am able to save well. Get dressed in a Moroccan team jumpsuit with a lion mask, al-Motakki talked about the rising cost of living in both France and Morocco, where many are trying to make ends meet.

Organization to visit Qatar for the Football World Cup amid such global crises made the occasion even more special, he said, describing it as among the best moments of his life. As throngs filled Al Bayt stadium for the Morocco-Croatia Group F game, al-Motakki’s colourful costume and mask made him a magnet for other followers, many of whom encircled him for selfies including a young child who originally seemed terrified by al-Motakki’s getup.

“Back in France, the self-described football fanatic told, he attends all the Olympique de Marseille matches and takes every chance to dress up for the occasion. I like to make people happy,” al-Motakki told.

He is also a fan of the French national team, so when asked who he would support, he told it would be like choosing between his mother and father. On Wednesday though, he was all in for his country of origin. Indeed, the venue and the area outside the stadium were dominated by fans of the Atlas Lions, as the Moroccan team is known.

Arab teams punch above their weight at Football World Cup

Even though the heat, the stadium was packed with colours and excitement a sea of red and green, the shades of the Moroccan banner, swept the stands: families with children, couples, and groups of friends. The crowd was welcomed by the Al Salam dabke group from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. Moroccans rushed to take pictures with them while some held Palestine flags alongside the Moroccan ones.

Nabeela from Rabat, a Qatar resident, said she was super proud of her team for making it to the Football World Cup. I am noticeably confident we will do well today, said the 31-year-old who works in an energy company. Only regional amity was also on display. Nabeela supposed she was so happy for the Saudis, and that their stunning distress against Argentina on Tuesday will boost the sureness of our side as well. On Tuesday, Tunisia too astonished Denmark by holding them to a goalless draw.

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